New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone is in favor of seeing a mercy rule in Major League Baseball.
The Yankees were routed by the Cleveland Indians 19-5 on Thursday, during which Boone was forced to use position player Mike Ford as a pitcher. The skipper believes implementing a mercy rule could prevent injuries and other negative situations from happening during blowouts.
"I think there would be a lot of benefit to that," Boone explained to reporters, per SNY's Yankees Videos. "There might be something to that, some merit to that, and worth exploring. It's not fun to have to put in a position player in that situation."
Ford tossed two innings and 42 pitches for the Yankees on Thursday, allowing five earned runs on six hits. One of Ford's pitches clocked in at just 53.2 mph.
The use of position players as pitchers during blowouts is becoming a trend as managers look to avoid taxing their bullpens.
Position players have seen varying degrees of success this season. Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Russell Martin has pitched three times in 2019 without allowing a run, and Baltimore Orioles outfielder Stevie Wilkerson even recorded a save on July 25. However, the results are usually similar to Ford's performance on Thursday.
"Guys can have some fun with that, but sitting in my chair, you're worried about hurting someone," Boone said. "You hate throwing up the flag like that. Sitting there getting kicked in the mouth is no fun."
The mercy rule isn't without precedent at the top levels of the sport, as the World Baseball Classic has already deployed it. Games can be stopped anytime after five innings when a team is ahead by 15 or more runs or after seven innings when one side is up by at least 10.